RAIL freight company Pacific National and infrastructure and property development company Wagner Corporation announced an agreement around the future development of a freight rail terminal at Wellcamp Business Park in Toowoomba.

Pacific National CEO Paul Scurrah said both companies were well placed to realise the benefits of the future Inland Rail, currently Australia’s largest infrastructure project.

“Pacific National is the leading provider of containerised interstate rail haulage services in the country, while Wagner Corporation has a superb track record and proven expertise in delivering critical transport and freight infrastructure in Queensland,” he said.

Pacific National said it has plans to increase containerised volumes in its intermodal business in the coming years, and the Darling Downs offers an origin and destination for large quantities of goods and commodities.

Mr Scurrah said under the agreement, Wagner Corporation would build the intermodal terminal while Pacific National will operate daily rail freight services under a long-term lease arrangement.

The estimated investment by Wagner Corporation to build the intermodal terminal for Pacific National, construct initial associated connective services and associated warehousing, is $110 million.

Once operational, the intermodal terminal (which will occupy an area of 23 hectares) will support up to 400 skilled jobs, including train drivers, terminal staff and associated warehousing staff.

Wagner Corporation chairman John Wagner said the Australian government’s construction of Inland Rail and confirmation by the Deputy Prime Minister that the route is set has given private companies added confidence to invest in major freight hubs along the future rail corridor between Melbourne and Brisbane.

“When Wagner Corporation attended the October 2019 opening of Pacific National’s logistics terminal in Parkes – also located on the Inland Rail alignment – it gave us an exciting picture of what could be achieved with rail freight services at Wellcamp,” he said.

Features of the multi-modal Wellcamp Logistics Hub include:

  • approximately 2.7 kilometres of frontage to the future Inland Rail, thereby potentially allowing 1,800-metre-long freight trains to operate at the site;
  • potential to process up to 350,000 shipping containers by 2030 and 500,000 by 2040; and
  • daily international cargo flights via the collocated Toowoomba Wellcamp Airport through its fully licensed and bonded international air cargo terminal.

Mr Wagner said initial concept designs for the intermodal terminal within the logistics hub will have the capacity to service 1800-metre-long trains.

“The future Inland Rail will facilitate operation of double-stacked 1800-metre-long interstate freight trains between major terminals across the country – these trains need to be broken down into smaller units to help efficiently tranship containers between trains and trucks,” he said.

Mr Scurrah said intermodal freight hubs offered governments and communities the added safety and environmental benefits of shifting more freight volumes from trucks to trains.

“Integrated with Inland Rail, the Wellcamp Logistics Hub will help reduce road accidents and fatalities, traffic congestion, vehicle emissions, and road wear and tear,” he said.

“Picture this – at a minimum, an 1,800-metre-long freight train hauling shipping containers is equivalent to removing 140 B-double return truck trips from our roads.”